Slovenia Business Link Newsletter
 

June - August 2016
This is the summer issue of the newsletter Slovenia Business Link. The next issue will be published in mid-September when we will again collect news on CCIS activities and positions as well as on current macroeconomic indicators.

Best regards,

Your Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

 CCIS NEWS
 

Marjan Batagelj at the Small Business Summit: The state should provide greater flexibility and, above all, should not become a prisoner of the unions

 

The abolishment of unnecessary institutions and unfair competition, a decisive tax reform, rather than merely the restructuring, and education suited to the future needs of the economy: these are the priority measures aimed at improving the business environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. This standpoint was brought forward by more than 200 executives on 15 June at the 5th Small Business Summit organized by the CCIS.

There have already been 10 regional awards presented for the best innovations and 46 golden regional awards presented

In the Savinjska-Šaleška, North Primorska, Littoral–Inner Carniola, Gorenjska, Carinthia and Posavje region, as well as in Dolenjska region and Bela Krajina, Celje, Zasavje and Podravje, the regional chambers of commerce and industry have already proclaimed the best innovations and innovators, presenting the latter with awards. Thus, 46 golden, 65 silver and 32 bronze awards, and 17 diplomas have already been presented. 160 innovations and 701 innovators participated in this selection. The best innovations from individual regions will be candidates for awards on the national level that shall be awarded on the Innovation Day on 21 September 2016.

Slovenian and Kosovo businessmen together with state presidents at Business Forum

100 Slovenian and Kosovo businessmen and representatives met on 7 June at the Business Forum during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi in Slovenia. The participants were addressed by the presidents Borut Pahor and Hashim Thaçi; the latter also signed in the CCIS book of honorary guests.

We stand for a competitive circular economy

120 experts in the field of environmental protection debated at the Economy Environmental Day on 2 June on good practices in the field of waste management in light of the newest package of EU measures for a transition to a circular economy.

Despite the remoteness of markets, enterprises show significant interest

The last Wednesday CCIS networking before summer vacations was dedicated to “overseas remote markets” in North America, South and Central America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Altogether, 60 participants networked, holding over 130 individual meetings.

 
 UPCOMING EVENTS
 

21 June: OPPORTUNITIES FOR SLOVENIAN COMPANIES IN CANADA

The seminar on Tuesday will deal with what we have to pay attention to, opportunities, experience, obstacles and pitfalls, and the implications of the CETA Agreement in relation to Slovenian enterprises. Attention will also be paid to the aid given to business on the Canadian market.

23 June: ECONOMIC DELEGATION FROM BELARUS

After the last year’s visit by the Slovenian business delegation to Minsk, we will host the delegation from Belarus this year. As an introduction, we are preparing a short program that will be followed by structured individual meetings.

29 June: ALPE ADRIA BIOHIGHTECH BROKERAGE EVENT

The event in Trieste is dedicated to enterprises, institutions, researchers and clusters from the Alpe Adria region that fall into the BioHighTech sector. Alpe Adria BioHighTec Brokerage Event wishes to address enterprises and institutions in the field of biomedicine, biotechnology, bioinformatics and research, with the aim of developing cross-border trade and business cooperation between enterprises that will allow easier search for partners, project exchange and cooperation in research between clusters and researchers in the Alpe Adria region.

5 July: KEYS TO SUCCESS WHEN DOING BUSINESS WITH ENTITIES ABROAD – “Golden” Advice

Although some still believe that they do not need rules and books on etiquette, they are surely mistaken! Business practice shows us on a daily basis that in order to achieve greater success, people need certain rules of conduct, especially when doing business with entities abroad where we meet people from different countries and with different cultural background. Modern rules on etiquette are formed in such a way that they provide us with assistance when building trust, when concluding successful business transactions, and during long-term cooperation. Join us in getting “golden” advice!

30 August: 3rd EMPLOYERS' DAY

At this year’s conference employers will learn more about ERA-1 from a practical viewpoint. They will discuss possible improvement as well as proposals for possible amendments to the ERA-1 and the accompanying legislation.

20 – 23 September: Governmental business delegation in United Arab Emirates

The SPIRIT Slovenia public agency, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, and the Slovenian Tourist Board, in cooperation with the CCIS, are organizing a visit by Slovenian enterprises in the governmental business delegation to the United Arab Emirates in the period from 20 to 23 September 2016. The visit has been organized within the scope of the official visit by the Minister of economic development and technology, Mr. Zdravko Počivalšek, to the Slovenian business and investment forum, and the Slovenian evening, I Feel Slovenia, in Dubai.

21 September: Innovation Day

Within the scope of the Innovation Day, awards will be presented for the best innovations on the national level.

 
 BETTER REGULATION
 

17 June: Companies have already paid for the tax restructuring

During the last year and a half companies have already contributed an additional 150 million euros to state revenues through additional burdens placed on certain types of employment.

10 June: Proposal on tax restructuring is not in the interest of most enterprises

The CCIS would again like to stress that the anticipated tax restructuring will only add to the burden carried by the entire economy.

8 June: The economy determined against the proposal of the small tax reform

The employers' organizations – the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, and the Association of Employers in Crafts and Small Business of Slovenia – have repeatedly notified the Ministry of Finance that they do not agree with the current proposal on the small tax reform as it in no way represents an actual relief of the economy, but only provides an additional burden to it. Despite the stated, Minister Mramor insistently repeats that it is all in line with the economy. Thus, they are justly posing the question – with what economy? Surely NOT with the Slovenian economy!

3 June: Supporting the economy – how, if you are adding to the economy's burden?

On 3 June, Minister Mramor spoke of the demands and legitimate proposals by the economy to decrease abnormally high tax burdens imposed upon the employers as wishes that can only be realized after 2020 – despite the promises given by the politics that the economy will not be additionally burdened! Do EUR 60 million and more burdens for the economy based merely on the proposed tax rise with regard to corporate income tax not represent an additional burden?

31 May: The greatest drop in investments in the last 3 years

The weakest quarterly growth in the last two years is the result of the great drop in investments, partially also due to the suspended household consumption. Export exceeds expectations.

30 May: IMD competitiveness scoreboard: Had the politicians done their homework, we would rank higher

6 places higher on the IMD competitiveness scoreboard, however, 7 places behind the Central European competitors. Inflexible job market, unusual managerial practices and low international investments are the millstones round the economy's neck.

30 May: Healthcare reform: proposed solutions should be deliberate

In only few EU countries, receiving compensations for temporary absence from work is not capped as is the case in Slovenia. In relation to the stated, our regulation certainly does not provide incentive for healthy people to return to work as soon as possible. The CCIS has repeatedly warned that there is a need for a reform that will ensure a rational, well-organized and timely service to the insured that, in this time, mostly complain because of the waiting times that are too long. It is for this reason that we expect a comprehensive debate on the possible changes in the healthcare and health insurance system, in which both social partners as well as the payers and beneficiaries of the services will actively participate.

26 May: Parliament session on tax reform, industrial policy and small business

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia welcomes the demand based on which issues, such as urgent systemic and structural measures providing new developmental drive to the economy and creating new jobs which is vital for the population welfare and sustainability of public finances, will be dealt with at the July Parliament regular session.

 
 DATA SECTION
 

Economic growth above European level, consumption disappointing. In the first quarter, the economic growth in the Euro zone has increased to 1.7% from the year-on-year perspective, and slightly more in the EU-28 area (1.8%). In the USA, the economic growth amounted to 2%; its rate was similar in the Great Britain. The British office for statistics denied the influence of the Brexit referendum on the Euro zone in relation to the economy. The services that represent three quarters of the economy have marked a more lively growth, and this has compensated for the weaker industry, agriculture and construction. It was precisely the industry and construction that have brought investments to a stop to a certain extent, mostly due to the ambiguity of the referendum outcome, as the profitability of such investments depends on long-term periods. The Slovenian GDP has increased by 2.5%, representing the weakest growth in the last two years. This was the result of the great drop in investments, mostly those coming from the state. Investments in fixed assets have decreased by 8.2%, mostly due to the decrease in investments in buildings and facilities (-27%). Investments in machines and equipment have maintained a healthy growth, as they increased by around 9%. This is a confirmation of the lively investment activity in the private sector. Export has increased in the first quarter by 5.3%, of which the export of goods amounted to 4.9% and the export of services to 7.4%. Goods show a somewhat calmer dynamic that is related to the delayed effect on the smaller export by large European economies to developing markets. The strong growth in the export of services is related to the strengthening of tourist visits and good results in the logistics chain.

Tourism and consumption expected to rise in the following quarters. We expect that the following quarters will bring a decrease in the growth of export; the terms of exchange will also be less favourable due to the rise in prices of oil and other raw materials starting from March. Tourism will keep its good dynamics, mostly because Slovenia is perceived as a safe country and also due to the returning domestic guests. The growth in household consumption was the lowest in the last year, which is somewhat surprising given the fact that the wage bill in the private and public sector increased, the number of employees has increased and unemployment has dropped. The state consumption increased for the second quarter in a row, at the fastest rate in the last seven years. This is related to the high growth of wages in the public sector as well as with the expenditure due to the migrant crisis. Growth exceeds expectations. As regards individual industries, better operations may be expected in accommodation and food service activities, healthcare, real-estate business, while the momentum in the automotive export chain will be good, but will come to a certain cool-down in the following months.

Below you will find some statistical data for Slovenia.

 

Growth rates in % - in comparison to the same period of previous year

Latest data

GDP – real growth

2.5

1st quarter 2016

Consumer prices (HICP)

-0.4

May 2016

Export of goods

6.3

 April 2016

Import of goods

-0.7

April 2016

Industrial production (manufacturing)

7.1

April 2016

Retail sales (real)

1.9

April 2016

Construction (real)

-4.1

April 2016

Exchange rate EURO/USD

1.1297

April 2016

Gasoline, unleaded, 95-oct. (EUR/litre)

1.238

Valid from June 7th, 2016

 

 

 

Issued by: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana
Contact: poslovni.tednik@gzs.si, T: (01) 5898 000, eng.gzs.si

CCIS is a member of the European Enterprise Network Slovenia.